The gun control bill was dead on arrival in the Senate, but several GOP Senators may want to give the defeated bill a jolt of life.
According to unnamed Senate aides, Senators on both sides of the fence are thinking about reviving the gun control debate after catching flak from constituents who want stricter gun control.
To quote gun-loving Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX), who ironically argued that grassroots movements helped to defeat the gun control bill, “There are few things elected officials like less than getting heat from their constituents.”
The aides didn’t name names, but it is public knowledge that Sens Johnny Isakon (R, GA) and Jeff Flake (R, AZ) are at least some of the Senators willing to revisit debate. Flake posted on his Facebook page, “Given the public’s dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum.”
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The pressure hasn’t been enough to turn some gun rights supporters. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R, NH), who was the only senator in the northeast to vote against the background checks, was the target of a TV commercial campaign lambasting her for voting against the bill. She also received harsh criticism from her constituents during a town hall meeting last week. She said that the only way she would reexamine the gun control bill is if she could also fix the nation’s mental health programs.
This leaves the ball in the Democrats’ court. Sens. Isakon and Flake might be willing to take a look at a new gun control bill, but they weren’t criticized so badly that they’re going to lead the gun control charge. A spokesman for Flake said that Flake “is hopeful that changes will be made to Manchin-Toomey, or another proposal, that address his concerns regarding private sales, and that a bill will be brought back to the floor.”
The statement is like a not-so-subtle whisper heard throughout the congressional cornfield: “If you amend it, they will come.”
Of course, this might be too little too late. Constituents may be angry at their Senators, but for the most part gun control sentiment has died down on a national level. Sen. Harry Reid (D, NV) and his gun control supporters may have lost their one big chance to push the gun control bill through the Senate.
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Source: Washington Post